Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout

The importance of nutrition in exercise

Eating right for exercise

Dietary changes are crucial if you want to be at your best both physically and mentally. If you’re still eating junk food despite getting regular exercise, the benefits of increased physical activity are all for nothing. Real food free of pesticide and other chemical contamination can help you achieve optimal health by providing you the cleanest fuel while simultaneously reducing your risk of diseases. It also can help you avoid artificial flavors and colorings and the added fats and sugars that processed foods have in them — all of which can be detrimental to your health.

One of the most effective strategies is to choose a diet high in healthy fat, while consuming moderate amounts of protein and minimal net carbohydrates. This approach helps revitalize your mitochondrial health. Another resource that will help you get your eating habits on the right track is my nutrition plan that walks you through strategies to dramatically improve your diet and eating habits.

Drink more water for better health

Drinking adequate amounts of pure, filtered water is another crucial element for achieving optimal health. Exercise and other strenuous activities can cause you to sweat profusely, leaving you thirsty. If you don’t replenish your fluids, your risk of dehydration increases.

The signs of thirst and dehydration can be easily detected. You may need to drink more water if you begin to experience any of the following:

  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark, concentrated urine
  • Headaches
  • Lack of sweating during exercise
  • Dry and dull mouth, eyes or skin
  • Disorientation, fatigue or mood swings
  • Hunger even though you’ve recently eaten
  • Muscle cramps or spasms

Drinking water isn’t just for hydration, as it may also help you maintain a healthy weight range. Swapping out carbonated drinks and other sweetened beverages can cut down excess calories.

The best way to tell if you’re properly hydrated is to listen to what your body tells you. If you notice the symptoms of dehydration mentioned above, drink water right away. Ideally, the color of your urine should be a light, pale yellow. Your bathroom trips should be around seven or eight per day as well. This video will help you discover signals your body sends, indicating that you need to drink more water.

Proper dieting and other lifestyle changes to implement

Many adults fear having a heart attack at any moment, even those without known risk factors. One reason for this fear may be because in fact, it’s one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

One way to lower your risk of heart disease and a heart attack is to live a healthy lifestyle — eating nutritious food and exercising regularly can decrease the likelihood of heart attacks, especially as you age. Adhering to these six guidelines can help drastically reduce your risk of heart attacks:

  1. Having a healthy diet
  2. Maintaining normal BMI (body fat percentage is actually more accurate)
  3. Getting around 2.5 hours of exercise each week
  4. Reducing television watching to seven hours or fewer per week
  5. Not smoking cigarettes
  6. Limiting alcohol intake to one drink or less per day

Here are other strategies I recommend you follow to help reduce your risk for heart disease:

  • Drastically reduce, and eventually eliminate, grains and sugars from your diet
  • Consume a good portion of your diet raw (fruits, vegetables)
  • Make sure that you’re getting high-quality omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil
  • Don’t cook food using vegetable oil or other processed fats. Replace these with healthy fats instead
  • Add fermented foods to your diet to get the benefits of probiotics in your digestive tract
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels by getting adequate amounts of sunlight exposure daily
  • Manage your stress properly through different stress management techniques
  • Get plenty of high-quality sleep

Best foods to eat to gain muscle mass and strength

If you want to take your fitness to the next level, consider increasing muscle mass and definition. To do this, you will need to increase your protein intake on days you are strength training to prevent overstimulation of the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), which can inhibit your body’s ability to enter autophagy.

To stay on the safe side, only eat 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body mass. That means that you should be eating just 80 to 150 grams of protein, depending on your weight. The quality of the protein is important as well. Only consume meat, eggs and dairy (common sources of protein) made from clean, grass fed and pasture-raised animals.

Taking the following vitamins as supplements may also help boost muscle growth and definition:

  • Vitamin A — This nutrient helps utilize proteins for repair and building muscles. It also helps boost the production of testosterone, a hormone crucial for growing strong muscles.
  • Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 — These three B vitamins play a role in protein metabolism, such as increased nitric oxide production. This creates improved blood flow and delivery of nutrients to your muscles.
  • Vitamin C — This important vitamin may help suppress cortisol, a substance that may inhibit the action of testosterone.
  • Vitamin D — Allowing your body to produce its own vitamin D can help with the production of testosterone.

Intermittent fasting complements exercise and a healthy diet

Exercise and a proper diet are keys to good health. But did you know that adjusting your manner of eating (even if you haven’t optimized your diet yet) can bring profound benefits as well? Intermittent fasting, which is a time-restricted eating pattern, can help facilitate benefits such as weight loss.

Intermittent fasting has been gaining plenty of attention among health-conscious communities, and its positive reputation is well-deserved. Research has shown that it can benefit your health in many ways, such as:

  • Promoting insulin and leptin sensitivity
  • Normalizing ghrelin levels, or the hunger hormone
  • Lowering triglyceride levels
  • Increasing human growth hormone production
  • Upregulating autophagy and mitophagy
  • Boosting fat burning and improving metabolic efficiency
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease
  • Boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency and biosynthesis

Intermittent fasting is basically cycling in and out of feasting (feeding) and famine (fasting) in strict intervals. During the famine phase, your body enters a repair and rejuvenation period wherein it rids itself of defective cells. Feasting is when you’re nourishing your body with healthy food to become stronger.

A typical intermittent fast lasts for 16 to 18 hours, giving six hours wherein you can eat all your usual meals for the day. To help you adjust, I recommend you skip breakfast, and then proceed to eat lunch and dinner within the remaining hours. Another important consideration is having your last meal at least three, and preferably four, hours before you sleep, as it helps protect mitochondrial function.

There are several other intermittent fasting methods, such as the 5-Day fast, 5:2 fast and alternate day fasting. However, I recommend fasting for 16 to 18 hours per day as this is easier to follow for most people, and more aggressive as well, allowing you to see results quicker.

The ketogenic diet is a clean fuel source

The ketogenic diet is another strategy that may help support your fitness goals. It’s an eating plan wherein you consume high amounts of healthy fats, low carbohydrates and adequate protein (just enough for your body weight). As your body adjusts, you enter ketosis, which is a process that creates ketones that your body uses for fuel. Ketones are far better for your body compared to carbohydrates or sugar because they generate less free radical damage and fewer reactive oxygen species.

Ketones are far healthier because of their profound health effects. Evidence indicates that the ketogenic diet may help:

  • Optimize mitochondrial function
  • Manage inflammation
  • Boost improved neurovascular function
  • Improve metabolic functions
  • As a side effect / bonus it will help you lose weight

To begin following the ketogenic diet, take out all the processed foods, meats and sugary beverages from your pantry and replace them with real, whole, organic foods rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Limit your net carbohydrate (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 to 50 grams per day, or even less. Protein should be restricted to 1 gram per kilogram of body mass as well.

Be aware that not all fats are healthy. Many foods are laden with harmful omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oils. These products, when consumed, can promote oxidized cholesterol and raise your LDL cholesterol levels. When cooking or preparing meals with fats, the best ones to use are coconut oil, raw, grass fed butter or ghee and olive oil. Just remember, though, that olive oil should not be used for heating or cooking.

KetoFast: A revolutionary way of optimizing your health

Now that you’re aware of the unique benefits of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, what happens when you add partial fasting into the equation? You get KetoFast, a term I coined with the goal of upregulating autophagy and detoxifying yourself from the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to every day.

Here’s an overview of the two phases of KetoFast, assuming you’re following a ketogenic diet and intermittently fasting:

  1. Compress your eating window to six to eight hours, or less, per day, with that window ending three to four hours before bedtime. After a month, you’ve become metabolically flexible and you can move to the second phase.
  2. Consume a single meal, typically breakfast. It should only consist of 300 to 500 calories depending on your lean body mass.
  3. Follow the meal with a 24-hour fast.
  4. Feast the following day by increasing carbohydrate and protein consumption, but maintain your caloric limit.

Oftentimes, most people enjoy their meals without any thought about the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they’re getting. But when you make the commitment to achieve better health through KetoFasting, flying blind when it comes to your nutrient intake won’t be enough. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of what you’re actually eating, especially in terms of calories and nutrients, in order to successfully adapt to KetoFasting.

By tracking what you eat for a given period of time, you’ll gain insights into your eating habits and determine how well you’re actually feeding your body, and if you’re meeting your nutritional requirements and maintaining ideal nutrient ratios. Meal tracking also allows you to assess and fine-tune your diet to optimize your metabolic health. This guide, the 30-Day KetoFast Challenge, will help you stay on track and improve your eating habits.